As surveys are among the most popular forms of research published in criminology, it is valuable to explore the quality of surveys as a research method. How survey questions are drafted can have a great impact on the quality and accuracy of your findings. Open-ended questions do not enforce explicit response options, whereas fixed-choice questions only allow for a list exhaustive and mutually exclusive responses. It is important to write clear and meaningful questions and avoid confusing phrasing or vagueness. Researchers should also avoid negatives and double-negatives, double-barreled questions, and favoring agreement or disagreement for clarity’s sake. Certain trade-offs and compromises must often be made between research goals, such as achieving measurement reliability and validity, generalizability, and cost-effectiveness including the decision to use open- or closed-ended questions.
In this discussion, you will explore the trade-off of whether to use open- or closed-ended questions in survey research. For this discussion, address the following in your main post:
- Articulate a crime-related problem statement that is appropriate for a survey of college students based on your desired criminal justice career path.
- Develop at least one hypothesis and several variables related to your problem statement.
- Draft five closed-ended questions that measure these variables and five open-ended questions that you think will measure the same variables as the closed-ended questions.
- Examine the effectiveness of responses that could be collected from each type of question based on the question format and phrasing.